Resources to improve social worker wellbeing

Social workers completely dedicate themselves to public service and play a vital role in helping to protect vulnerable adults, children, and families. With long working hours, stressful situations, complex cases and what can sometimes be distressing home visits and assessments. The impacts of these situations mean that we often neglect our mental wellbeing in order to get through the day, and do not appreciate the toll it takes on our motivation and happiness until it is too late. Social workers must take time out for themselves to de-stress, relax and reset. Keep reading to get some ideas of how you can improve your wellbeing to improve your work-life balance and your mental health.

 

Relax and reduce stress

  • If you have identified something that helps you relax, ensure that you set aside time for that activity every day. This can be something small, like a bubble bath, reading a good book, or taking time to cook your favourite meals. Perhaps make this activity tech-free, especially before going to sleep.
  • Learn to switch off by setting yourself strict times to finish work and log off for the evening, as well as not having work emails on your phone. Of course, there are always times when we may have to stay late, but make sure you are strict with this and don’t let yourself form unhealthy working habits that sacrifice time for yourself.
  • If you find yourself in a stressful situation, it’s always okay to take a 2-minute breather so you don’t start to feel overwhelmed. Although you are here to help others, you are a human being too, and you deserve to take 5 to calm yourself down.
  • Get enough sleep to feel well-rested and energised for the next day.

 

Connect with others

  • If you feel down or have problems that are making you worry and stress, open up and talk to someone. This can be a friend, family member, colleague or even anonymous helplines, such as Mind.
  • Ensure to make plans with friends and family, it’s good to spend time with others and socialise as it takes your mind off things as well as helps to destress.

 

Get outside 

  • If you don’t live too far from work then try walking or if you commute, get off 2 stops early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Go on a walk during your break or in the evening, nature can reduce stress and anger, help improve your mood as well as clear your mind.

 

Don’t forget about your physical health 

  • Daily physical activity is good for the mind and for your wellbeing. Perhaps set a goal to do 10k steps a day or a 15-minute daily workout.
  • Remember to watch out for what you eat, keep a balanced diet and get in your 5 a day.

 

Let your mind learn and be creative

  • Do something such as baking, painting, or crafting (Mind has lots of craft templates you can print out)
  • Learn a new language on apps such as Duolingo
  • Join a class to learn a new skill
  • Use websites such as FutureLearn to get access to free online courses

 

For a more tailored wellbeing resource just for social workers, Community care has partnered up with UNISON to create an interactive guide filled with advice and guidance to help support the wellbeing and mental health of social workers. Some of the categories include secondary trauma, stress management, compassion fatigue, developing emotional resilience and much more. Each section also includes podcast recommendations, tasks, and quizzes. Click here to check out the interactive guide.

 

Social Work England also have a great support section on their website containing a list to all the wellbeing resources you would possibly need, with descriptions, information and links for each resource.

 

Take this as a reminder to make time for your wellbeing at least a few times a week, you may find that you feel more positive, have better days at work and even improved sleep.

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